Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Sunday, May 18, 2008

“Speed” Bumps

I was pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed watching Speed Racer. Sure it was uneven in parts, but for me the movie was actually moving in two ways: emotionally with Susan Sarandon and John Goodman, and kinetically with the race sequences.

It’s ironic that the adult actors playing Speed’s parents ran circles around Emile Hirsch’s disappointingly bland performance. Even Christina Ricci, in an uncharacteristically bubbly portrayal, had more spark and sizzle on screen, as well as the preening villainy of Roger Allam as the Evil Business Tycoon.

But hey, this movie isn’t a character study; it’s a cartoon! From the opening credits with the Warner Bros. logo to the solid-colored live sets and even more saturated CGI visuals, this movie out-cartoons Warren Beatty’s Dick Tracy (1999). And with this cartoon, it is all about the race.

But oh, what race sequences! While I’d like to think it’s my love of cars that propelled me into the race sequences, truth is it’s the Wachowski brothers’ impressive skills of kinetic cinema that was in full throttle here. Given the unrealistic tracks, the physics-defying car maneuvers and the dizzying camera work I was still able to follow almost all of the action frame by frame (the only exception was the final action sequence just before crossing the finishing line—the events just came in too fast, too furious).

The Wachowskis’ attempt to remain faithful to all the elements of the cartoon series finished with mixed results. Speed Racer may be a champ on the track, but as a movie it was a bumpy but still fun ride.

3 comments:

daemon said...

loved the movie...

so that ones crossed out the list...

so next one is indiana jones...

wooohooo!!!

ash said...

as i've written in my blog, i actually enjoyed it amidst all bad reviews :)
i wouldn't even mind watching it again

TheBachelorGirl said...

Now I'm actually considering watching it. Thanks! ;-)